New Bolshevik methods
The Communists have initiated a new policy toward the politicals whose prison sentences have expired. Instead of being released, the prisoner is administratively (that is, simply by order of the G. P. U.) condemned to another term of exile in a different part of the country. The most distant and forsaken points are selected for the purpose, places little populated and often several hundred miles distant from any railroad. Exile to such a place is equivalent to a sentence of absolute isolation and gradual death from starvation. For the exile receives from the Government the munificent sum of 6 roubles and 25 kopecks (about $3.50) per month, which is barely sufficient for mere bread. The G. P. U. does not permit the exile to secure employment. for fear of his “contaminating” those with whom he might come in contact. Thus the political in exile is effectively deprived of means of existence.
From a large number of similar documents in our possession, we publish below the protest against this new policy sent to the G. P. U. by E. B. Rubinchik-Meyer, manager of the “Golos Trouda” publishing house of Moscow, which issued the works of Bakunin, Kropotkin. Jean Grave and other Anarchist thinkers.
To the General Political Administration (G. P. U.)
To the Chief of the Secret Department
Statement of the Administrative Exile, the Anarcho-Syndicalist
RUBINCHIK–MEYER EFRED BORISOVICH.
At the end of June, 1921. the sentence of internment in the Suzdal concentration camp was, owing to illness, changed to banishment to Tomsk. Before my departure I was assured by the responsible agent of the G. P. U., citizen Kil, that the G. P. U. would put no obstacle in the way of my accepting employment.
In spite of this solemn promise, each time I was able to find a job, the local department of the G. P. U. forbade the heads of the institutions (bookstore of the Central Labor Cooperative; bookstore of the provincial department of National Education; bookstore of the Siberian Publishing Department, and others) to employ me.
The last prohibition-the fifth-was made in writing under the signature of the Assistant-Chief of the Tomsk Department of the G. P. U., Chuntonov.
After having thus had undeniable proof of the measures against me, I resolved to have a final explanation on the matter with citizen Chuntonov. I am now convinced myself that I will not be permitted to take up any employment.
Having no means of receiving medical treatment, I asked the local G. P. U. to allow me free treatment at one of the local hospitals. Up to the present I have received no reply.
In connection with the refusal to permit me to work, I sent a statement to the Assistant-Chief of the Secret Department of the G. P. U.. Andreyeva, which I forwarded by registered post on September 13, 1924. I have received no reply, and the local G. P. U. has received no instructions.
This state of affairs not only prevents my curing my illness, which is getting worse all the time, but condemns me to starvation
I protest emphatically against these tactics of the G. P. U. and insist that I should be allowed to go abroad for medical treatment.
Member of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union “Golos Trouda”
EFREM BORISOVICH RUBINCHIK–MEYER.
Tomsk, Dec. 8, 1924.
(“Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists in Russia,” March-April, 1925).
From: The Guillotine at work p541-2.